Refined Campus Living with Dorm Decor

April 7, 2015

All Images
Jennifer Hagler Photography

By Buffy York

Let’s face it.  The typical dorm room is ugly.  Most have concrete walls, stone floors, and mostly resemble a jail cell – most are in need of some dorm decor.  How can a new college student thrive in such a sterile environment?

Alison Gorrie and Kate Phillips, co-owners of the newly founded Dorm-Décor, have gone to long lengths to find the solution.

My oldest daughter, Elinor is heading to The University of Alabama next year and happens to be a Campus Rep for Dorm-Decor.  She wants her dorm room at Tutwiler to be a slice of home.

Since I’m not a decorator and don’t have the time or the energy to go to multiple stores to fulfill my only daughter’s dream of a refined dorm room, we went to the Dorm Décor showroom in Birmingham, Alabama and did the deed in one stop and one hour.

While we were there, I also knocked out all of my graduation gift shopping.  Check!

When I went to Alabama 30 years ago, I found my dorm decor in our attic.  I ended up with a peach covered comforter, mismatched sheets, a torn quilt, and a pillow that no one else wanted.  I was secretly jealous of the girls who had matching comforters, rugs and ESPECIALLY curtains.  We always hung out in their room, not mine.

Dorm Décor has everything a graduate needs–including bedding, bath, seating, windows, cubbies, lighting, rugs, and accessories. It truly is one-stop shopping.  They also offer delivery to your dorm room for many universities including Alabama and Auburn, so you don’t have to lift a finger!

Their flagship product is the cubbie collection that no tiny dorm room can go without.  The cubbies are custom handmade shelves that can be put over a desk or the bed to add more room for the budding scholar.  And they aren’t just for the girls–they have a “man cave” for the guys that Alison says is wildly popular.

Elinor and her roommate Emily chose the white cubby for over their desk, along with some adorable flower string lights to hang around it for a little pizzazz.  To complete the desk area we choose a bulletin board  and of course the all important mirror.

Next Alison showed us a huge wall of fabric swatches for the bedding and luckily Elinor and Emily both liked the “spa” medallion fabric for the headboard.  Alison recommended a coordinating fabric for the custom, very long bedskirt and a white ruffle comforter.  Since no one would get any sleep on the tiny, hard dorm mattress , the girls went crazy over the mattress topper that Alison spent years finding.  This is no egg crate–it looks like a sleeping bag and feels like heaven.

We added a huge, soft lambskin pillow and a smaller velvet turquoise one with a monogram (they will monogram just about everything).  We loved the velvet fabric on the pillow so much and were thrilled to learn that we could get drapery panels to match!

To cozy up the concrete dorm floor we choose the “So Edgy” rug–a woven brown and white that looks sort of like sisal but is ultra soft.  We also liked the Ultra Plush Zebra Rug in turquoise and taupe.

Sheets (guaranteed to fit the dorm mattress) and towels were easy picks and quite affordable.

Since all of this can add up quickly, we “registered” most of our selections on the Dorm Décor website and just purchased the basics for now.

Don’t have a graduate?  Dorm-Décor has something for everyone looking to spruce up a bedroom.  Most items can be ordered for any size bed.  I found myself wanting to completely re-do my 12 year old son’s bedroom while I was there!  I also have my eye on the ghost chair for my home office.

If you do have a graduate or graduates to honor with gifts head to dorm-dé or contact Elinor Anthony, Campus Representative at

Register below by using the rafflecopter to enter to win a $50 Dorm Décor Gift Card!

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    Love your dorm look!

    GREAT article Heather! Great memories at TUT!

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